Erekat: Netanyahu’s UN Speech ‘Denies Palestinian Existence’

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat. (Photo: Al Jazeera)

Head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Saeb Erekat on Thursday slammed the Israeli prime minister’s United Nations speech, saying it “blames the victim”.

Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday lashed out at the Palestinian leadership at the UN General Assembly for saying the controversial Nation-State law is racist.

After Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel’s nation-state bill will nullify the two-state solution, Netanyahu commented:

“President Abbas, you proudly pay Palestinian terrorists who murder Jews. In fact, the more they slay, the more you pay. That’s in their law too. And you condemn Israel’s morality? You call Israel racist?” 

He added:

“This is not the way to peace. This is not the way to achieve the peace we all want and need and to which Israel remains committed. This body should not be applauding the head of a regime that pays terrorists. The UN should condemn such a despicable policy.”

Erekat in his response scolded Netanyahu, accusing him of “victimizing the criminal” and denying Palestinians their right to exist.

According to Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA, Erekat said:

“Netanyahu’s speech is a combination of old and well-known talking points that conclude on victimizing the criminal and blaming the victim … His speech further exposes Israel’s systematic denial of our right to exist, to live in freedom and to celebrate our national identity.” 

He added:

“Despite the oppression, racism and daily violence, the proud and resilient people of Palestine will continue to remain steadfast and to believe in the achievement of our inalienable rights, to live in freedom and in dignity. For the Israeli government, not only are the issues of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees off the table, but also Palestine’s very existence.” 

The nation-state law passed in July declared Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, provoking fears it could lead to blatant discrimination against Arab citizens.

(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)

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